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Total Articles: 17

Sexual Harassment Waiver Ban, Noncompetes Top New October 1 Compliance Requirements

A Maryland ban on sexual harassment waivers in employment contracts and a broad Massachusetts law governing noncompetition agreements headline a host of new state and local October 1 compliance requirements. But that's not all, as San Francisco's expanded "ban the box" criminal history law also takes effect.

Maryland Employers, Are You Ready? New Sexual Harassment Law Takes Effect October 1

Maryland’s “Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018” takes effect on October 1, 2018. The Act prohibits certain waivers related to an employee’s future sexual harassment claims and future retaliation claims for making a sexual harassment claim. It also requires employers with at least 50 employees to complete a survey disclosing the number of sexual harassment settlements in which the employer has entered.

Full Disclosure: Maryland’s New #MeToo Law May Do Little to Expose Workplace Harassment

In reaction to a litany of high-profile scandals, Maryland has joined a growing number of states in enacting legislation intended to prevent employers from sheltering perpetrators of sexual harassment. Approved by Governor Larry Hogan on May 15, 2018, the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018 (DSHWA) purports to ban employment contracts requiring sexual harassment claims to be resolved through private arbitration. It also mandates that large employers report certain information about sexual harassment settlements to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, which in turn can make some of that information available to the public. Hampered by weak enforcement provisions and faced with a potential preemption challenge, however, DSHWA may not have a significant impact on current employer strategies for avoiding and managing sexual harassment claims.

Sexual Harassment Claims Gain More Transparency Under Maryland Law, Uber Policy

The #MeToo movement revealed that a culture of sexual harassment thrives in secrecy and that bringing sexual harassment and misconduct claims to light is essential to ending these unlawful practices. To that end, Congress disallowed taking as a business deduction the cost of any settlement of a sexual harassment case that includes a nondisclosure agreement and many states, like New York, are enacting new laws targeting employers that hide sexual harassment settlements.

Mandatory Sick Leave Trend Gains Steam as Maryland Joins the Fold

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act — which establishes mandatory sick leave in Maryland — takes effect on February 11, 2018. Although the act had been vetoed by Governor Hogan in 2017, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates successfully voted to override the veto earlier this year.

Maryland’s New Sick and Safe Leave Law Scheduled to Take Effect in February

On January 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s May 25, 2017 veto of legislation requiring Maryland employers to provide sick and safe leave to their employees. By overriding the governor’s veto, the general assembly made Maryland the ninth state to adopt a mandatory sick leave statute. Maryland’s legislation, known as the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, provides employees with up to 40 hours of sick and safe leave annually. Unless the general assembly delays the Act’s effective date, employers will need to conform their leave policies on or before February 11, 2018.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Effective February 12

Certain Maryland employers must begin offering paid sick and safe leave to their employees under the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act beginning February 12, 2018.

Maryland Becomes the Latest State to Require Paid Sick and Safe Leave

On January 12, 2018, the Maryland legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) 2017 veto of the Healthy Working Families Act, Maryland HB 1 (“the Act”), enacting legislation that requires Maryland businesses to provide covered employees with sick and safe leave. The Act says it preempts local sick and safe leave laws that were enacted on or after January 1, 2017, which may include the Prince George’s County law.1 However, Montgomery County’s law will remain in effect.2 The Act is scheduled to become effective on February 11, 2018.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law Passed Over Governor's Veto

The Maryland General Assembly has voted to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a 2017 bill to enact the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA). The governor had vetoed the bill at the end of the 2017 legislative session, stating that its one-size-fits-all approach would harm small businesses.

The Layers of the Paid Sick Leave Law in Montgomery County, Maryland

On October 1, 2016, Montgomery County’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave law became effective. This law allows all employees, with few exceptions, that work in Montgomery County, Maryland, to accrue paid and/or unpaid sick and safe leave, depending on the size of their employer, to use for their own illness, an illness of a family member and (originally) five other specific reasons. Since its passage the Montgomery County Council has amended the law once and is considering a further amendment.

Montgomery County Sick and Safe Leave Law Amended to Permit Use for Birth, Adoption, Foster Care, and Bonding

Effective immediately, employers in Montgomery County, Maryland must allow eligible employees in the County to use up to 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave provided under Montgomery County’s sick and safe leave law for birth, adoption, foster care, or bonding with the employee’s child. The County Council adopted this measure to bridge gaps in employees’ ability to use paid leave for various combinations of parental leave under federal and state laws.

Maryland Expands Equal Pay Law to Prohibit Gender Identity Discrimination, Require Pay Transparency

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed into law a significant expansion of the Maryland Equal Pay Law, including new provisions to prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of gender identity and to make it easier for employees to discover and discuss disparities in pay.

Maryland’s Montgomery County Enacts First Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law in State

Montgomery County is the first county in Maryland to enact a paid sick and safe leave law. The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (“the Law”) requires employers operating and doing business in Montgomery County, that employ one or more employees, to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees who perform work in the County. It becomes effective on October 1, 2016, or, for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) in effect, on October 1, 2016, after the expiration of the CBA. The Maryland General Assembly had considered a similar bill during the 2015 legislative session, but the bill failed in session.

Montgomery County, Maryland Joins the Jurisdictions Requiring Paid Sick Leave, Alters the Employer Tip Credit

The Montgomery County, Maryland Council recently passed two amendments to the County Code that impact employers. First, the County has joined in the recent trend of mandatory sick leave laws by requiring employers with one or more employees in the County to provide paid sick and safe leave to covered employees. Second, the County altered the amount of tip credit that employers may use when calculating the minimum wage owed to tipped employees and created a related quarterly reporting requirement.

Maryland Taxpayers May Be Due County Income Tax Credits, Supreme Court Rules

The US Supreme Court has ruled, in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, that Maryland's income tax system, under which residents who pay taxes to another jurisdiction are entitled to credit those taxes against their state income taxes, but not their county income taxes, violates provisions of the US Constitution's Commerce Clause. As a result, a Maryland couple who paid income taxes to other states may be entitled to credit those taxes against their county income taxes, as well as their state income taxes.

Supreme Court, Maryland Address False Claims

The Supreme Court has provided guidance with respect to the ability of whistleblowers to file claims under the federal False Claims Act, while Maryland has expanded its fraud and retaliation protections by enacting its own version of the federal law.

Recent Changes to Maryland Law Give Pregnant Employees and New Parents Enhanced Employment Protections

Executive Summary: In 2013, the Maryland legislature passed the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act requiring employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with a disability "caused or contributed to by pregnancy." Then, one year later, the legislature enacted the Maryland Parental Leave Act which requires employers with at least 15 employees in Maryland to provide eligible employees with six workweeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. These new statutes dramatically enhance the protections for pregnant employees and provide job-protected parental leave for both female and male employees.
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